Miami Heat Overpower Short-Handed Magic
The Orlando Magic held their own for most of the night but in the end the defending champion Miami Heat were too much and defeated the Magic 110-94. With both teams coming off tough losses in their previous game, the effort levels on each side were high. That turned out to be unfortunate news for the Magic.
LeBron James struggled all night and was generally a non-factor (which feels like a stupid thing to ever, ever say), but the Heat received a bump in the form of a healthy Dwyane Wade and a throwback performance by Rashard Lewis. D-Wade scored 20, Chris Bosh had 20 and Lewis had a season high 18. LeBron’s “off” game still resulted in 15/8/8.
The Magic were led on the night by a hot-shooting Jameer Nelson who had 21 points on 5 three-point makes. Tobias Harris had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Arron Afflalo and Victor Oladipo had 16 a piece.
Nik Vucevic missed his second straight game, forcing Jacque Vaughn to experiment with his big man rotation. That experiment was an overall fail. Andrew Nicholson started the game for Orlando, but never returned to the game after six poor performing minutes. Jason Maxiell and Kyle O’Quinn took turns as well, with unfavorable returns.
The only real success the Magic would see all night was when they were able to get out and run in transition. The small-ball lineups with Tobias Harris or Moe Harkless at the 4, allowed the team to utilize their athleticism against the weaker Miami bench.
A 16-3 second quarter run by Orlando brought excitement to the sell out Amway Center crowd and the game would stay close through the middle of the 3rd quarter. A 15-0 Heat run would put the game away for good, as the Magic were never able to muster another serious run.
The Magic will hit the road for a five game West Coast road trip, with their next game coming on Monday against the L.A. Clippers.